Volume 25 Number 78
                      Produced: Fri Jan 10  7:49:16 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

"Correct" Text- II: Reply
         [Mechy Frankel]
Double Segol Words at end of Pasuk
         [Rick Turkel]
English Translation Inconsistencies
         [Russell Hendel]
nekudot (vowels) in Artscroll Siddur
         [Jonathan Katz]
Origin of Term - Orthodox
         [Carl Singer]
Pronunciation of cholum mulei; and origin of vowel marks
         [Micha Berger]
Rinat Yisrael Siddur
         [Rick Turkel]
Yezer Ra = Impetuousness
         [Russell Hendel]


From: Mechy Frankel <FRANKEL@...>
Date: Mon, 06 Jan 1997 16:31:18 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: "Correct" Text- II: Reply

Z. Barr writes in response to a recent note:
<If you look at Targum Onkelos, he clearly translates the word as Vayihyu
(Vahavo) in support of Breuer. (Authorized Aramaic translation of Torah by
proselyte Onkelos around 90 C.E.)  Again, let us emphasize, this is the
only lettering difference that changes pronunciation and meaning of  any
word in the Torah, and has only arisen from the confirmation of the one
thousand year old Aram Zovah scroll as mentioned by the Rambam,>

I guess one of the points i had thought I made got lost in the verbiage,
which is that the historical "truth" is probably irrelevant for the
halakhic process here.  As I already mentioned, from different lines of
evidence/testimonies there is already little doubt that the Ben Asher
text read "vayihiyu". The observation that Onkelos also used this girsa
is a cute (and acute) yet one more support for this pretty well acepted
fact. The question is what if anything should anybody do about it, and
the answer there is clear. read "vayihi" as in the sefer in front of
you. Here it is the halakhic process which fixes the practice. Indeed,
it was only the lengthy process of halakhic acceptance over many years
which even fixed the Ben Asher text itself as the assumed goal of text
mongerers.  For some period of time in some communities, Ben Naftoli
style torahs continuued to be used and there is a tishuva hundreds of
years after the time of ben Asher from the Mahari Mintz (#8) which
defends the right of those communities which did.  (By the way, before
inferring something from Onkelos especially concerning a girsa in
question already, one would want to know the provenance of version of
Onkelos being cited. Just as there are textual variations in the torah
codices there are variations in the Onkelos texts) But the original
textual goal would seem essentially divorced from the halakhically
sanctioned product.

As for the notion that this "mistake' is somehow different because it is
the <..only lettering difference that changes pronunciation and
meaning..> that is true so far as it goes now but needs to be seen in a
broader perspective. If one considers the tanach as a whole there are
many more girsa'os in dispute which include pronunciation and meaning as
well. (just look at the back of a korein tanach for a listing of about
80 of the more prominent).  but the problem is still broader. if one
wants to reach back to Onkelos to infer and "correct" a currently
accepted girsa, then ain lidovor sof, -there's no end to it. It is
abundantly clear that the texts of chazal differed from our own, and
that the texts of the rishonim also differed from both ourselves and
Chazal.  See the tosophos "ma'avirum kisiev" in Shabbos 55b and the long
summary of chazalic and rishonic textual divergences in the Gilyon
Hashas there.

The question of the relevance of historical fact for halakhic pratcice
is complex and the about all one might conclude is that sometimes it
matters and sometimes it doesn't.  thus while hardly anybody believes in
spontaneous generation of maggots it doesn't affect the related
halakha. There are however arguments over the current halakhic relevance
of newly discovered tishuvos from authoritative geonim and rishonim that
seem to get regularly published nowadays, but which haven't undergone
the halakhic scrutiny and testing of the generations.  (The only thing
that is certain here is that both sides will quote the Chazone Eash).

Mechy Frankel			home: (301) 593-3949
<frankel@...>		work:  (703) 325-1277       


From: <rturkel@...> (Rick Turkel)
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 1997 23:57:17 -0500
Subject: Double Segol Words at end of Pasuk

David Merzel <MerzelMazl@...> asked in m.j 25#74:

>Another question on the sidra: Throughout Perek 5 the word teven -
>wheat - appears a number of times, frequently at an esnachta or a
>sof-pasuk, yet the first segol is never changed to a kamatz as is
>usually the case?  Any comments?

Neither is it changed to a qamatz in sefer or beged or most other words
that have a chiriq in the suffixed forms (sifrei, bigdi, etc.).  For the
most part it's those segolate nouns that have a patach in those forms
(tif'artekh, `avdi, darkei, etc.) which undergo the change to a qamatz
at an etnachta or sof-pasuq.  If I'm not mistaken, the segolates were
originally monosyllabic, with only a single vowel between the first and
second root letters; for the most part, only those with a historical "a"
vowel (and an "a" vowel in their Arabic cognates) undergo the change in
question.  This is not to say that the distinction is always that clear
- e.g., melekh, malki, but never malekh - but it's a starting point.

Hope this helps.

Rick Turkel         (___  _____  _  _  _  _  __     _  ___   _   _  _  ___
<rturkel@...>)oh.us|   |  \  )  |/  \     |    |   |   \__)    |
<rturkel@...>        /      |  _| __)/   | ___)    | ___|_  |  _(  \    |
Rich or poor, it's good to have money.  Ko rano rani | u jamu pada.


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Fri, 3 Jan 1997 14:55:43 -0500
Subject: English Translation Inconsistencies

There are 8 times in Chumash when the word NA is said by G-d. In 3 of
them the Stone English translation uses the word NOW(Gen 13:14,15:5,Nu
12:6);in 3 cases the word is translated as PLEASE (Gen 22:2,
31:12,Ex11:2) and in 2 cases the word IS OMITTED in translation (Ex 4:6,
Gen 18:21).

Some background may help: NA is usually translated as PLEASE but
according to many rishonim (early authorities) can also mean NOW. The
Sifray on Num 12:6 clearly indicates PLEASE as a translation. What is
bothering me however is the arbitrariness in translation
inconsistency---sometimes NOW is used and sometimes PLEASE and sometimes
the word is OMITTED. The standard Aramaic translation, Oonklus, by
contrast, translates all 8 cases the same.

Does anyone know how these translations decisions are arrived at? Also,
are there are other examples of translation duality for one word.

Russell Jay Hendel, Ph.d, ASA  rhendel @ mcs drexel edu


From: Jonathan Katz <frisch1@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 00:05:17 EST
Subject: nekudot (vowels) in Artscroll Siddur

The Artscroll siddur has markings which distinguish a sh'va na from a 
sh'va nach, and a marking which indicates when the stress in a word is NOT
on the lfinal syllable. Yet, with all that, they do not have a mark
(like the Rinat Yisrael siddur does) which distinguishes a kamatz from
a kamatz katan.
Does anyone know (or can they suggest a reason) why?

Jonathan Katz
410 Memorial Drive - Room 233F
Cambridge, MA 02139


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 97 20:55:23 UT
Subject: RE: Origin of Term - Orthodox

> 	I think we all can learn from a position taken by the Union For
>Traditional Judaism, in which they point out that the terms 'Orthodox',
>'Conservative' and 'Reform' are all new, and that these words themselves
>have no halakhic significance.  

Does anyone have definitive source on timing and origin of these terms.
Of specific interest (to me) is coining of "Orthodox" -- the unverified
story I heard, not to point fingers, was that in an attempt to appear as
centrists, certain early reformers decided to dub Torah Observant Jews
as "Right Wing" 
 -- N.B. This question is not meant to Has v'Halilah (Heaven forfend)
stir up any Seenus Chinim (bad blood), only to determine historically
accurate information.

Carl Singer


From: Micha Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 07:25:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Pronunciation of cholum mulei; and origin of vowel marks

I always assumed the since the vuv made a /w/ sound in most ancient
havarot, it would make one for the cholum mulei as well. So, I've been
saying long o without the dipthonged /w/ for a cholum chasei (a
"deficient" cholum, the dot above the left of the letter, sans vuv), and
with the /w/ for a malei.

Similarly, the chirik (single dot under a letter), and chirik malei
(same, but with a following yud); I try to only add the /y/ to the end
of the latter.

On to the second topic in my Subject: line....

There were a number of different vowel marking systems in use before
history settled on ours. First, does anyone claim that the marks -- not
the vowels, but the marks used to represent them -- are Sinaitic? What
interested me is that at least one "Palestinian" system grouped patah
and segol as one shape... I wondered how they pronounced the two, that
they'd be considered so similar?

But in the same context, I read the following conjecture about where our
system comes from.

Hebrew has a system for representing vowels, it's called k'siv malei
(full writting) and is used for gittin (divorces), non-Biblical names on
contracts, and a variant is used in Yiddish spelling. However, the
Ba'alei Mesorah (Mesoretes?) could not add letters into the Biblical
text -- even to denote vowels for youngsters' study. Instead the `ayin's
vuv's, yud's and aleph's were placed under the letters, in small.

If you look at an `ayin in Assyrian script, there are three dark thick
parts, connected by thinner lines. Since the small `ayin was
inconvenient to do by quill, it devolved into just those three
blacknesses -- the segol shape of today.

Similarly the diagonal line of the aleph became the patach and kamatz,
and so on. There are a few problems, one is that both vuv and yud only
have one dark spot, so the cholum was put on top of the letter so as not
to look like a chirik. The other problem is how this would explain the
three dots of the shuruk (or kubutz).

Micha Berger 201 916-0287        Help free Ron Arad, held by Syria 3737 days!
<micha@...>                         (16-Oct-86 - 10-Jan-97)
<a href=news:alt.religion.aishdas>Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed</a>
<a href=http://aishdas.org>AishDas Society's Home Page</a>


From: <rturkel@...> (Rick Turkel)
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 00:29:18 -0500
Subject: Rinat Yisrael Siddur

Neil Parks <nparks@...> asked in m.j 25#77:

>As I recall, this is the same siddur which puts an infinity symbol
>over some words.  What does that stand for?

The note at the end of the preface indicates that this symbol marks
a milra` accent, i.e., on the final syllable, in words that are
commonly mispronounced mil`eil (on the next-to-last syllable).
Similarly, R.Y. uses a "<" to indicate mil`eil that are commonly
mispronounced milra`.

[Similar responses received from:

"S.H. Schwartz" <shimmy@...>
<shoshani@...> (Michael Shoshani)

Hope this helps.

This post was written with a prayer for a refu'a shleima for Baruch
Yosef ben Adina Batya Sherer.

Rick Turkel         (___  _____  _  _  _  _  __     _  ___   _   _  _  ___
<rturkel@...>)oh.us|   |  \  )  |/  \     |    |   |   \__)    |
<rturkel@...>        /      |  _| __)/   | ___)    | ___|_  |  _(  \    |
Rich or poor, it's good to have money.  Ko rano rani | u jamu pada.


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 13:12:26 -0500
Subject: RE: Yezer Ra = Impetuousness

Eli Turkel, [V25n51], responding to my initial suggestion that "YEZER RA
= EVIL INCLINATION = IMPETUOUSNESS", contends that this would only
account for sins of lust but not for sins of rebellion. A simple answer
to this based on comments of the Rav, Rabbi Soloveitchick, will lead to
a deeper understanding of sin and Jewish hashkafah. A brief synopsis is
as follows:

1) YEZER RA when used in regards to sins of lust means impetuousness not
passion. Thus, e.g, "(S)he sinned because their YEZER got the better of
them" should not be translated "They sinned because they had passions"
but rather "They sinned because they were impetuous".

2) YEZER RA when used in regards to sins of rebellion should be
interpreted as SENSE DISTORTION.  A simple example might help: A person
crosses the tracks to catch a train DESPITE the fact that the train is
coming and gets killed.  Why? Because the persons sense of time is
DIRTORTED--(s)he thinks he can make it and can't.  In a similar manner
when say Adam (who prophetically knew G-d) or Yaravam Ben Nevat (who had
prophetic support) sinned (Adam by hiding from Hashem and Yaravam by
making idols)they did so because their SENSE of (spiritual) reality was
DISTORTED--Adam really thought that if he hid from G-d, G-d would go
away (i.e. G-d didn't care that much about the sin he did)-- similarly
Yaravam did not think G-d would mind that much if he kept the Jews from
Jerusalem by making idols.

In the case of Yaravam I imagine he thought how important he was now
that he was king and began to think less of the purpose of the
kinghood. After thinking this for a long time he became "obsessed" with
his sense of importance and this in turn led him to think that G-d
didn't mind the idols.

3)The Rav has pointed out that both IMPETUOUSNESS and SENSE DISTORTION
happen because of "HYPNOTIC OBSESSION": A person who is obsessed with a
pleasure will probably impetuously persue it; a person who is obsessed
with a value (like Yaravam's sense of his importance) will probably have
his sense of reality distorted.  The Rav explained that Judaism does not
oppose pursuit of pleasure or selfish goals; it rather opposes "hypnotic
pursuit" of these objectives.

These conceptual distinctions should deepen appreciation of Judaic

Russell Jay Hendel, PHd ASA, rhendel @ mcs drexel edu


End of Volume 25 Issue 78